I am researching our national drought crisis and it seems there are several
ways of defining what is a drought but not one set of national criteria.
NOAA's National Weather Service incorporates a Palmer Index for rating but
admits its limitations allow for states to redefine their drought status
(ie.Florida is listed as a DO drought status by the Palmer Index but the
Fla. state meterologist and water managment districts claim they are not in
a drought based on precipitation).
Even if a state has experienced prior back to back years of drought and
their groundwater and surface water are at historic low levels, government
officials still claim they are not in a drought because the stresses on
shrinking water supplies are from population growth demand and not lack of
And there is not a lead Federal Agency for the national drought crisis.
Can you folks tell me if your state is in a drought and why or why not if
the National Weather Service and National Drought Monitor says you are?
And what are the political reasons why a state wouldn't want a nationally
defined drought status with access to federal emergency financial
Member of the Society of Environmental Journalists
The National Drought Mitigation Center
National Drought Mitigation Center
NOAA's drought information center
THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX
US Drought Monitor
National Weather Service
NWS Southern Region